April 18, 2024


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Missing license plate for a Boeing 737-800 after a United Airlines flight landed in Oregon

Investigators are looking into why a Boeing plane was missing an exterior panel after a flight from San Francisco to Oregon, officials said. The company was already facing intense scrutiny from travelers and regulators over incidents involving its planes.

United Airlines said Flight 433, carrying 139 passengers and six crew members, was discovered to be missing an exterior panel on Friday after the Boeing 737-800 was parked at the gate at Rogue Valley International Airport-Medford in Oregon. It was not immediately clear how and when the license plate was lost on the plane that left San Francisco International Airport that morning.

Federal Aviation Administration He said That the plane landed safely and that the missing panel was discovered during the airline's “post-landing inspection.” The Federal Aviation Administration said it would investigate the matter.

There was no indication of damage during the flight, which landed at its scheduled destination, and no emergency was declared en route to Medford Airport, according to the airline. There were no reports of injuries.

“We will conduct a comprehensive inspection of the aircraft and make all necessary repairs before it returns to service,” United said in a statement, adding that it would also conduct an investigation “to better understand how this damage occurred.”

Airport Director Amber Good said in an email that no debris was found at the airport after the plane landed around noon, and that a routine inspection revealed the missing panel. Judd said operations at the airport were temporarily halted to check the safety of the runway and resumed a few minutes later.

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Boeing referred questions about the flight to United Airlines.

Boeing was plagued with bad news after a 737 Max exploded in January, when a door seal fell off during an Alaska Airlines flight, leaving a gaping hole that frightened passengers in the air and caused an emergency landing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched an investigation into Boeing's manufacturing after a door plug failed. The agency's review found the company needed to improve in a number of areas, and regulators gave it 90 days to formulate a plan to fix any quality control issues.

The airline giant said in February that it had a “clear picture of what needs to be done” and was “fully committed to meeting this challenge.”

The latest scrutiny focused on the 737 MAX, a widely used single-aisle plane. Two disastrous crashes involving two 737 MAX planes killed 346 people about five years ago.

The plane whose plate was reported missing in Friday's incident was an older 737-800, not a 737 MAX.

The Washington Post reported that Boeing alerted airlines in recent days to a potential problem with loose switches in the pilot seats of its 787 Dreamliner planes after one of the planes suddenly fell, injuring 50 people. I continued that journey from Australia to New Zealand. The 787, a larger aircraft, is used primarily on long-haul international flights.

Ian Duncan and Laurie Aratani contributed to this report.